2019 was a year of weather extremes in Antelope County

The old saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Nebraska, wait five minutes, it will change”. This commonly used adage seems pretty accurate when discussing the day to day temperatures and precipitation accumulations we experience here in Nebraska. From blizzards, to extreme winds, to catastrophic flooding, this past year definitely lived up to its reputation for unpredictable Nebraska weather.
January 2019 kicked off with fairly mild temperatures and goes on record as the driest month of the year receiving only 32 hundredths of an inch in precipitation. The month of January recorded ten days with temperatures reaching 40 degrees and above and six of those days were above 47 degrees in temperature. Although I don’t remember for sure, I am guessing I had the itch to golf as 48 degrees in January feels like a heat wave. However, the mild temperatures and lack of precipitation did not last long.
My husband remembers calving in the months of February and early March this past year as being pretty brutal. Fifteen of the twenty-eight days in February had temperatures in the teens or below, not to mention the 11 plus inches of snow we received during that month. March added another 3.3 inches of snow and also hosted the coldest day of the year with a low of -11.9 degrees Fahrenheit occurring on March 3rd. Newly born calves cannot survive long in such conditions, so anyone calving at this time was definitely short on sleep. As a matter of fact, due to the lack of sleep and extreme cold temperatures during these months, I even accompanied my husband on a few late-night checks. I am far from being a valuable farm hand. I wouldn’t know the first thing about pulling a calf or identifying a heifer ready to calve, but I can talk and talk and talk, and all that talk could maybe help keep my husband alert and not all alone in the middle of the night in the dead of winter.